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Dream On

By Mink Stole | Posted 6/13/2001

I'm a mess. I've been living with my boyfriend, Dan, for nearly six years, and we have a great relationship. He's loving and respectful, we laugh all the time, and I love him and know I'm really lucky to be with him. But I can't stop fantasizing about his best friend, Carl. I'd always liked Carl, but when he stayed with us for a few weeks a couple of months ago I suddenly started thinking of him "that way," and it knocked me

off my feet. Not only is he gorgeous, but he was so charming and attentive that I found myself wanting to be with him all the time. I've never been attracted to anyone but Dan before and I really don't know what to do. I don't want to hurt Dan, but shouldn't I be honest with him? And should I tell Carl how I feel?

Going Crazy in Cleveland

Dear Crazy:

Relax, sweetie, you're not crazy. What you are suffering from is a massive dose of foreign testosterone, which, when combined with domestic testosterone, can have a poisonous effect on one's mental health. In addition to what you're already bombarded with from Dan, prolonged exposure to Carl's unfamiliar pheromones has activated some dormant pheromones of your own, causing an intensely pleasurable yet probably temporary response.

What would have been crazy is if Carl's presence had provoked no reaction at all. Houseguests are privy to some of the most personal moments of our lives, and when that houseguest is an attractive person of our preferred gender who's making an effort to be charming and agreeable, it's easy to translate the unavoidable intimacy of sharing close quarters into something more. But think what it would have been like if Carl had just slopped around the place, constantly competed with you for Dan's attention, and otherwise abused your hospitality. Your reaction would have been just as strong, only instead of fancying yourself in love, you would have hated him.

This is one case where honesty would be the worst policy. Your infatuation with Carl is still harmless at this stage, and telling either or both of them could seriously damage your great relationship with Dan--which sounds like it's worth protecting--and prove embarrassing as hell when it wears off. Fantasy is not infidelity, however, and if you want to indulge your secret desire for Carl in the privacy of your own thoughts, that's your business.

I'm getting married in a few months, and I want to know if it would be tacky to invite an old boyfriend to the wedding. We stayed friendly after we broke up (although we rarely see each other), and I'm still fond of him. It never occurred to me that it would be a problem, but now my best friend and my mother are telling me it would be rude and insensitive to my fiancé. My fiancé insists it's perfectly OK with him--that he even likes the guy. What do you think?

Wanting to Do the Right Thing

Dear Wanting:

I've never had a wedding--never even been a bridesmaid. (That sounds really pitiful, I know, but at least I've been spared the expense of buying some ridiculous puffy-sleeved nightmare of a dress designed specifically to make me look like a Viennese pastry and to make another woman look like a goddess.) But I know enough about

them to realize that in many cases the significance of the event for the bride and groom can get lost in all the arguing over details. Who gets to invite whom and how many, who performs the ceremony and where, small wedding or big, sit-down dinner or buffet--everyone has an opinion, everyone wants something different. The bride and groom are not the only people who matter at a wedding, and effort must be made to accommodate the legitimate wishes of the families involved (especially if they're paying). But where differences cannot otherwise be resolved, the bride and/or the groom should win.

If your fiancé really does like your ex, and if you want him there because you're genuinely fond of him and not because you have some latent, hostile desire to rub his face in your romantic success, it's up to you to decide whether or not to invite him. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean people will want to stop throwing their 2 cents worth at you. Whatever your decision, make it, make it final, and drop it. Your wedding day is too important to have it spoiled by what is at most a minor side issue.

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Family Guy (3/15/2006)

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